Line starting forming to get into Calexico through the Mexicali Port of Entry by 8 p.m. Sunday, Nov., likely in anticipation of the lifting of the non-essential travel ban for fully vaccinated individuals. Although Sunday nights are always peak times, the line appeared larger than normal, like a "watered-down Black Friday," one official said. | ROY DORANTES PHOTO
MEXICALI/CALEXICO — By 8 p.m. Sunday night, Nov. 7, there appeared to be a larger-than-usual assembly of Mexico residents making the pedestrian line to get into the U.S. through the downtown Calexico Port of Entry.
Although there is much hype about the official lifting of the nonessential travel ban for the fully vaccinated that is set to occur at 6 a.m. Monday, Nov. 8, there is typically a hefty amount of pedestrian traffic awaiting entry through the 24-hour downtown port on a Sunday night.
Still, one Calexico official who asked not to be named said the line is “more than normal. It’s like a watered-down Black Friday,” he said after watching a video filmed on the Mexicali side leading up to the downtown ports. The video and photos were provided by Imperial Valley resident Roy Dorantes.
It’s unknown what kind of traffic Calexico can expect this coming week, but in 2014, Imperial County saw 18.6 million people traveling into Imperial County from Mexicali through the Calexico-area ports of entry, according to a 2017 Imperial Valley Border Economic Impact Study. An average of 51,100 individuals entered the county each day during the study period, with 32,300 people entering Calexico daily through the downtown port alone.